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Scott Inman returning
Rep. Scott Inman (D-Del City) holds a press conference May 11, 2017, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. (WIlliam W. Savage III)

Almost two months after announcing he would resign from the Oklahoma Legislature, Rep. Scott Inman (D-Del City) has reversed course and said he will serve the final year of his elected term.

Inman terminated his gubernatorial campaign abruptly Oct. 25 during a heated House floor hearing about the cigarette tax. He was seen in the Capitol rotunda having a discussion with his wife shortly before word spread that Inman had told the House Democratic Caucus he was resigning his seat and ending his statewide campaign.

But the House never received a formal resignation letter from Inman, which spurred rumors that the Del City attorney was reconsidering.

Friday, Inman released a one-paragraph statement minutes after the House recessed during its second special session of the year:

After much consideration and consultation with my family, I have decided to honor the trust and faith shown to me by the citizens of Del City and south Oklahoma City when they elected me to serve as their representative for the sixth time in November of 2016. Today, I am announcing my intent to return to the Oklahoma House next session to complete the important work facing our great state. As the Legislature continues to work toward a bipartisan budget solution to address the myriad fiscal challenges facing our kids, seniors and veterans, I want to ensure my constituents have the voice and the representation they rightfully deserve.

With 2018 marking Inman’s 12th year in the Legislature, he will be term-limited out of the body. He was elected as House minority leader in 2009 and served in that position until his Oct. 25 announcement.

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Inman returning, but not to leadership post

Rep. Steve Kouplen (D-Beggs) served as House minority leader in Inman’s absence, and Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman) said Friday that Inman returning “will not” mean a reclamation of his leadership position. Virgin said Kouplen will continue to serve in that capacity.

Gov. Mary Fallin said earlier in the week that she anticipates lawmakers returning in mid-January to continue budget efforts in special session.

Inman’s Facebook and Twitter profiles were deactivated Oct. 25, and they remain inactive as of today’s announcement.

During his absence, Inman was seen publicly at the Capitol only once, entering the House gallery to vote against the revenue bill that featured a hike in the gross production tax Nov. 8.

(Update: This story was updated at 10:50 a.m., Friday, Dec. 22, to include additional details.)

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William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.